Cleaner or Cleansed?
Would you rather receive a vacuum cleaner or a lifetime subscription of home cleaning services? I’m not sure my wife would appreciate a vacuum cleaner as an anniversary gift. That gift could imply expectations. There are better ways to express love.
Yet that’s exactly what Mormons believe Jesus has done for them. He has given them “tools” in order for them to “clean up” themselves. These gifts reinforce his expectations.
Where Biblical Christians find this discouraging, Mormons can find a sense of pride. There is satisfaction in a clean house. There is joy knowing it was cleaned your way. In fact, it would be humbling to have to ask for help.
Yet, just as the list of dishes, laundry and other cleaning chores never seems to end, the same is true when we try to clean our spiritual house. We finish only to turn around and start all over again.
God’s Old Testament people of Israel understood this. Leviticus details all of the sacrifices that were to be made and how to prepare them. Only unblemished, perfect, young animals were acceptable. Since our blood was contaminated by sin, someone else had to make a sacrifice in our place.
Yet, these sacrifices were repeated day after day, year after year. It was a seemingly unending cycle because the animals didn’t actually atone for the people. “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).
Anyone who tries to clean their own spiritual house will not only realize it is never ending. They will also encounter stains they can’t clean. If red wine spills on white carpet, using a vacuum cleaner will only make it worse. I can cover it with furniture for a time, but eventually there will be too many stains to hide.
When we can no longer hide our sins, we realize we don’t just need a cleaner. We need to be cleansed.
The Bible points to Jesus as the Lamb of God. There is no need for repeated sacrifices because he came once for all. Unlike the blood of animals which was a symbol, his blood is actually effective at atoning for our sins. “By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14).
This gift doesn’t come with expectations.
You simply come with your stains to be cleansed. It demonstrates the depths of his love.
Do you know Mormons who are trapped in the never-ending cycle of trying to clean their own spiritual house? Are they trying to hide sins they can’t erase? Be authentic about how your house used to be a shambles and you could never seem to get it clean. But now everything is transformed. Your house is clean right now. Jesus took out even the toughest stains. It all happened when your cleaner was exchanged for his cleansing.
We all have roles at home or work that may seem never-ending. Instead of getting discouraged, let it help you appreciate all the more the completed work of Jesus.
Check out this week’s witnessing tip and share that joy with others!